A CHARITY supporting homeless and vulnerable people has officially opened its on-site accommodation, although it has been fully occupied since June.

The new building is next to Trinity’s current day centre at Durngate and comprises 12 en-suite ‘flatlets’, with a communal lounge and kitchen. There is also a community space for non-residents.

The project is designed to support people who have been repeatedly rough-sleeping and offers a range of activities and therapies to help them get their lives back on track.

The new accommodation is based on Housing First principles - that stable and secure housing is an essential pre-requisite to turn lives around, achieve positive and sustainable change and is more cost effective than other interventions. An active engagement approach is used to support people’s strengths, goals, and aspirations, giving individuals choice and control. Where required harm-reduction programmes are offered.

A resident in the new building said: “This will be a real lifesaver for me. I can use the therapies and support on offer to “knock it all on the head”, overcome my addiction, get back to working and reconnect with my family.”

Brigadier (Retd) Tom Blyth, who facilitated the lead gift for the £1.5 million capital appeal through a major donation from the DEFLOG VQ Trust, cut the ribbon to open the new building. The communal lounge has been named “Ben’s Place” in memory of their late son, who was supported for many years by Trinity.

Brigadier Blyth said: “This is an inspirational project that will help to change the lives of many of those who fall on desperately hard times – the homeless, the socially isolated, the outcast. Trinity is a remarkable charity run by extraordinary people. We applaud their success with the splendid Bradbury View project and the invaluable service it will provide.”

Thanking the donors to the UnderOneRoof@trinity project, Appeal Patron HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Nigel Atkinson Esq said: “We are so grateful to everyone who contributed to enable the building of this wonderful new facility – from major trusts and foundations to local businesses and individuals. We are especially appreciative of Winchester City Council for giving us planning permission to build on the site together with a significant capital grant.”

The building has been named Bradbury View, in recognition of a major donation from the Bradbury Foundation. It is an environmentally friendly ‘green’ construction – highly insulated with an array of photovoltaic cells on the roof.

Trinity’s chief executive, Sue McKenna added: “Anyone can become homeless. It can happen through a relationship breakdown, losing your job or just bad luck. Trinity has been helping people to turn their lives around for nearly 35 years. Bradbury View will open a whole new chapter of Trinity’s work with homeless and vulnerable people in Winchester. Watch this space!”

In addition to the capital appeal, the running costs of Bradbury View have been supported by a major grant from the National Lottery Community Fund of £302,000 over five years.